It seems these days that many designers automatically settle on the main color in their website’s palette automatically: white. Every other color is just an accent to that. Today, we look at 40 websites that used a bolder color to base their design on — in this case, blue.

It’s harder to pull off a web design that is based on a bold color — the relative safety of a plain old white background is easy to work with. These designers have made it work, though, and this means they can design sites that deliver greater branding benefits using the psychology of color. Check out how they did it.

Critical Zero

40 Websites That Look Great in Blue

Obama 2012

40 Websites That Look Great in Blue

Resume Baking

40 Websites That Look Great in Blue

Foundation Six

40 Websites That Look Great in Blue

Souljade

40 Websites That Look Great in Blue

Yodaa

40 Websites That Look Great in Blue

Carbonmade

40 Websites That Look Great in Blue

The Pixel

40 Websites That Look Great in Blue

Morphix

40 Websites That Look Great in Blue

Vegas Uncork’d

40 Websites That Look Great in Blue

Skype

40 Websites That Look Great in Blue

Twitter Basics

40 Websites That Look Great in Blue

Owltastic

40 Websites That Look Great in Blue

Postbox

40 Websites That Look Great in Blue

Campaign Monitor

40 Websites That Look Great in Blue

Quiip

40 Websites That Look Great in Blue

Elbow Park

40 Websites That Look Great in Blue

Orion Advisor

40 Websites That Look Great in Blue

Bartelme Design

40 Websites That Look Great in Blue

Icebrrg

40 Websites That Look Great in Blue

Birdie

40 Websites That Look Great in Blue

Alex Swanson

40 Websites That Look Great in Blue

Marie Catrib’s

40 Websites That Look Great in Blue

Omaha Barcamp

40 Websites That Look Great in Blue

Kyan

40 Websites That Look Great in Blue

LeaderBe Consulting

40 Websites That Look Great in Blue

Yowza

40 Websites That Look Great in Blue

Ready Made Designs

40 Websites That Look Great in Blue

Knight

40 Websites That Look Great in Blue

Nude Designs

40 Websites That Look Great in Blue

Delibar

40 Websites That Look Great in Blue

Elemodo

40 Websites That Look Great in Blue

Onavo

40 Websites That Look Great in Blue

Jar Design

40 Websites That Look Great in Blue

PSD2HTML

40 Websites That Look Great in Blue

DesignCrowd

40 Websites That Look Great in Blue

nclud

40 Websites That Look Great in Blue

Shelly Cooper

40 Websites That Look Great in Blue

Vimeo

40 Websites That Look Great in Blue

Los Colores Olvidados

40 Websites That Look Great in Blue

Why blue? It’s a bold color but one that’s psychologically fairly neutral and uncontroversial for a business to use — a safe choice. That’s not to say it doesn’t mean anything. Blue is considered a calming color that represents focus, attention, and is both uplifting and motivating. These are all traits that most businesses don’t mind being associated with. While not many businesses will simply say “I need a blue web design” they’ll often request it in their brief or have it as part of their logo. Color psychology does suggest that overuse of blue can come off as sterile and detached, so don’t forget to mix it up a little with other colors that are friendly and pair well.